White-collar crime is an interesting and unique classification of criminal behavior. Unlike many other crimes, white-collar crime is nonviolent crime that is typically perpetrated by those of high socioeconomic status or occupational responsibility. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has defined white-collar crime as illegal acts characterized by concealment or violation of trust, which are committed to obtain money, property, or services or to obtain a personal or business advantage. According to the FBI, white-collar crime costs the United States more than $300 billion annually, which is why these types of crimes are taken seriously and prosecuted accordingly.
This type of white-collar crime involves perpetrators hiding the source from which they are getting their money and making it look like it came from somewhere else. Often, this is done by criminals who are gaining money from illegal activities such as:
- Health care fraud
- Human trafficking
- Narcotics trafficking
- Other types of financial crimes
Money from these illegal activities can be hidden in a variety of complex ways, such as international trade or real estate, which is why it is difficult–but not impossible–for prosecutors to prove these types of cases.
This type of fraud is characterized by high, guaranteed returns, no or few risks, overly consistent returns, or complex strategies. Types of investment fraud include:
- Ponzi schemes: These schemes function by using money from new investors to pay old investors, with the criminal keeping some of the money for themselves.
- Pyramid schemes: These schemes involve money from new investors being given to existing investors, but participants get commissions from getting new investors.
- Prime bank investment fraud: This takes place when a person claims to have access to large financial institutions that can protect their investments against loss.
This type of white-collar crime involves misappropriating money. Perpetrators take personal property that was entrusted to them by others and use it for themselves. A person can be charged with embezzlement if they were found to have control over the property that they have stolen. Control is determined by the courts by looking at the employee’s job, job title, and the specific practices of that company.
Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyer
Like any other crime, white-collar crime can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There is much debate about what constitutes white-collar crime, but one thing is for sure: white-collar crime is taken just as seriously as any other type of illegal activity. If you have been charged with a white-collar crime, you should get immediate help from a knowledgeable and experienced Will County white-collar criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. at 815-740-4025 to discuss your options in a free consultation.